5492

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Miniature Indian Shaivite Bronze Shrine

Maharashtra, India
18th-19th century

length: 11.6cm, width: 9.4cm, height: 4.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

This unusual cast bronze shrine, sits on three legs and is in the form of a yoni edged with petal-like crenulations. It has a central lingam which faces a figure of Nandi. Other figures of the Shaivite ‘family’ present include Annapurna and Ganesh. There is also a protective cobra which has its tail draped over the outer border of the yoni – a small, delicate, artistic touch on the part of the caster.

Such shrines come from the small towns and villages of Maharashtra (the state that takes in Mumbai/Bombay) indicating that these were popular objects of worship in domestic settings. It was customary that these domestic shrines are were tended regularly with daily worship and offerings. But such shrines are rarely encountered now.

This example is in fine condition. One of the petal crenulations around the edge of the yoni has a crack but other than this small detail, the shrine has no losses ore repairs.

References

Aryan, K.C., Folk Bronzes: Of North Western India, Rekha Prakashan, 1973.

Dursum, B., et al, Change and Continuity: Folk and Tribal Art of India, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, 2004.

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